Concerns about posting segregation led to post office closure

MONTPELIER STATION, VA (AP) — The United States Postal Service has closed a small post office in Virginia due to concerns from agency management about its location in a historic train depot that doubles as a museum on racial segregation.

In a statement this week addressing the closure, the USPS noted that the museum near former President James Madison’s Montpelier estate has historic signage above two exterior doors, one labeled “Whites” and the other labeled “Color”.

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MONTPELIER STATION, VA (AP) — The United States Postal Service has closed a small post office in Virginia due to concerns from agency management about its location in a historic train depot that doubles as a museum on racial segregation.

In a statement this week addressing the closure, the USPS noted that the museum near former President James Madison’s Montpelier estate has historic signage above two exterior doors, one labeled “Whites” and the other labeled “Color”.

He added that “Postal Service management felt that some customers may associate race-based separate entries with current Postal operations and thus draw negative associations between these operations and the painful legacy of discrimination and segregation. “.

The statement was provided to The Associated Press by a USPS spokesperson on Wednesday.

He said operations were suspended at the Montpellier train station post office for the purpose of finding suitable alternative neighborhoods in the community or, failing that, to carry out a study on whether to remove the branch.

The post office had one employee and operated four hours a day, the statement said. It served about 100 people and closed in June, according to the Culpeper Star-Exponent.

The restored mustard-yellow rail depot is owned by the nonprofit foundation that runs the Montpellier estate. A sign outside the building introduces the exhibition inside.

Christy Moriarty, communications director for the Montpelier Foundation, told the newspaper that the racial segregation exhibit and the post office have co-existed since 2010.

“Montpelier owns the Train Depot building and the exhibit will remain open,” she said. “We call on the USPS to reverse its decision and reopen this historic facility that has served this community for more than a century.”

U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger, who represents the region, also raised concerns about the shutdown in a letter to the agency’s Virginia district director.

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